As the media has made clear, there are a few things people feel they can’t live without during this COVID-19 quarantine—toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, and of course, a Netflix subscription. But what about businesses? What are they doing to survive this historic outbreak?
The impact COVID-19 has had on businesses—big and small—has not been trivial, and many companies are facing the challenge of switching from a traditional brick-and-mortar environment to a remote workforce. The unpredictable nature of this situation is unfortunately causing some businesses to unnecessarily panic or close up shop, believing they don’t have the resources to see this thing through.
Luckily, there are several tools that can help your business thrive, even during quarantine. While it can be daunting to switch to a remote workforce, these 5 resources make the transition smoother and help keep your team productive:
1. Video Conferencing Apps
Video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Skype have come to the aid of many businesses seeking to find ways to collaborate with their newly remote team. In fact, Zoom has already received more new users so far in 2020 than it did all of last year in 2019, with a near-20% increase in free sign-ups.
The benefits of video conferencing applications such as Zoom go beyond just being able to communicate with team members for meetings, conferences, and one-on-ones. Zoom also includes a Zoom Phone feature that allows you to continue answering customer calls and even put other team members in a call-answering rotation. It also has a chat feature that makes communicating on or off calls simple and quick.
2. Online Collaboration Tools
With in-house servers no longer available to remote teams, it can be challenging to find ways to securely access sensitive documents and files. Online collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms and Microsoft Teams can help you overcome this obstacle by saving your documents securely online, allowing you to choose exactly which users are granted access to each file.
Many businesses have been using these online collaboration tools well before the COVID-19 outbreak, but if yours hasn’t, now is a better time than ever to start taking advantage. You can even set up a team drive in Google to ensure that your entire workforce has access to certain necessary documents. These collaboration tools mean you can continue working just as productively—if not more so—than you were before transitioning to remote work.
3. An Online Team Management Platform
One of the best tools you can utilize while your team is apart is an online team management platform that keeps track of anything from daily tasks and work hours to team projects and messaging.
At Lemonade Stand, our team uses a team management software we developed in-house called Yalla. It allows each team member to keep track of daily priorities and log work hours, as well as collaborate with team members on projects phase-by-phase. This platform is particularly useful now that we are working remotely, as we can easily check each other’s task boards and add priorities to them to make sure all tasks are being addressed quickly and efficiently.
Yalla also has team chat and direct messaging features to make it easy to communicate with co-workers. It even includes emojis, gifs, and more to keep your team’s spirits up while they’re all apart.
4. A Great IT Provider
Beyond implementing these easy-to-use online tools for your team, you’ll likely need additional IT support to make a smooth transition to a remote workforce.
A great IT provider is a resource you’ll want to invest in for the long haul. But for now, they are especially useful partners for setting up a remote network, establishing cybersecurity and device policies, and implementing new technology to support remote work.
IT providers help make sure your technology remains safe and secure from threat actors during a time when your systems are particularly vulnerable due to the large shift to remote work.
5. A Reliable Marketing Agency
While marketing expenses may not seem like a necessity during a time of national emergency, you may want to think again.
Many businesses are discovering that in order to meet new challenges presented by this outbreak, they need a skilled marketing team to assess and address the current needs of consumers. The same old ad campaigns and content strategies you’ve been using likely won’t suffice to truly solve the pain points current customers are experiencing.
At Lemonade Stand, we’ve put ourselves in a position to respond quickly and adeptly to even unforeseen circumstances such as these. We’ve already helped prepare many of our clients for different industry challenges caused by this outbreak by supplying them with unique content, email messaging, and ad campaign strategies to keep their business thriving.
Right now, internet marketing is more important than ever for keeping your business afloat. Your customers are looking to you to provide them with ways to deal with this outbreak. Excellent marketing strategies help get the word out to your customers that you’re stepping up and ready to help in this time of global uncertainty.
Whether you’re an IT provider, a home services company, or an event venue, with the right marketing partner, you can continue to grow your business, even in a pandemic. As you take advantage of each of these resources, you’ll be prepared to answer customer needs and truly survive this outbreak.